antee freedom of research and scientific progress and at the same time to safeguard the rights and dignity of human beings.

Iran has an ancient past that history has not adequately documented. Iran has played host to various ethnic groups who, while retaining their own cultural identities, comprises the nation of Iran. They have been afforded equal rights. While preserving their own special culture, social, architectural, linguistic, and civilization characteristics, all have contributed to the process of dialogue among civilizations.22

Similarly to other parts of the world, a great majority of intellectuals in Iran do not accept the role of Islamic legislation in making bioethical decisions. Nonetheless, one cannot deny the deep religious nature of attitudes and beliefs of the majority in the country. Considering that the source of Islamic law can be according to formal and pluralistic ideas, we believe that the results of international conventions and conferences might be accepted with little modification from the Iranian government and the religious legislators of the country.

Fortunately, among the many controversial bioethical issues, only abortion has been banned in Iran. In exceptional situations, abortion can be authorized. Allograft transplantation is a legal action at present, and the legal issues of sperm transfer from a donor are under intensive investigation.

We are looking forward to join with international bioethical communities in the development of modern bioethical committees and legislation.


The authors would like to thank Dr. Mirghasem Jafar Zadeh and Ms. Arefnia for their assistance in preparing this report.


Round Table of Ministers of Science on “Bioethics: International Implications.” Paris, 22-23 October 2001. Presentation by Mostafa Moin, Minister of Science, Research and Technology, Islamic Republic of Iran.

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